Stimulus: Donald Trump's Executive Order Unemployment Funds Are Already Running Out

In response to failing stimulus negotiations, President Donald Trump issued an array of executive orders and memos at the beginning of August to extend economic relief programs. One of his memos called for an additional $300 in unemployment benefits (states would first have to grant eligible Americans $100 in unemployment benefits before the federal government would give out this additional funding). But, as Yahoo Money reported on Saturday, those funds already appear to be running out.

Trump originally signed these executive memos on Aug. 8. The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) funding that provided the $300 to $400 in funding to individuals is reportedly limited to up to $44 billion being redirected from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a result, states will reportedly soon begin to run out of the funds for these extra unemployment benefits. "It is likely that the benefit will stop abruptly for individuals," Michael Wisehart, Arizona's director of the Department of Economic Security, reportedly said on a call with reporters recently. "It is likely that after the sixth week there will be some amount of jeopardy to the availability of these funds going forward."

According to Andrew Stettner, an unemployment insurance expert and senior fellow at the Century Foundation, each state that was approved for this program will likely get enough funding to cover about six weeks. "Most workers will end up getting paid [the extra benefits] by the end of September and maybe a few will dip until October," Stettner said. "I think people in Arizona will get all their money in September." Many states won't even begin to distribute these funds until sometime in September or even October given the logistical challenges of distributing funds via an executive order (as opposed to legislation). Stettner added, "Whether people get that payment in September or October, they're only going to get a certain amount. Most people are going to get five or maybe six weeks."

States initially received three weeks' worth of funding from the LWA. After that amount, any extra funding will be approved on a week-by-week basis until there are no more funds to give out. Once states do start to distribute these bonuses, the LWA funding will likely run out in five weeks. This fact means that jobless Americans will likely see these funds run out sometime in the fall, mere weeks after the program gets off the ground.